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Trevor Bauer made plenty of quality pitches Darqueze Dennard Jersey , but it was Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez who made the best throw of the night.

Bauer pitched effectively into the eighth inning as the Indians beat the skidding Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Wednesday for a three-game sweep.

With the Royals trailing by one in the eighth, Whit Merrifield hit a leadoff double before Perez nabbed him attempting to steal third.
 
”It was a huge play,” Bauer said.

Merrifield, the 2017 AL stolen base champion, said he got a good jump

”They executed. I executed,” Merrifield said. ”They got me this time. It was the right play. If I had a chance to do it again, I’d do it again.”

Perez gave credit to Bauer.

”He was thinking he was going to try and steal,” Perez said. ”He called fastball up and in and I thought that was the game right there. That was on Bauer. He hit me right in the chest and I made a strong throw, and (Jose) Ramirez made a good tag on him. I was fired up.”

Michael Brantley had an early RBI double and the Indians scored all their runs in the first three innings on only one hit. Bauer struck out eight and walked one over 7 2/3 innings.

The plummeting Royals have lost six straight and 18 of 21. They have scored four or fewer runs in 25 of their past 26 games and are barely ahead of Baltimore for the worst record in the majors.

After winning on grand slams by Francisco Lindor and Yan Gomes the previous two nights, the Indians managed only four hits – two in the ninth inning.

Bauer (8-6) has struck out eight or more in eight consecutive starts. He allowed seven hits, six of them singles, and is 3-1 in his past four starts.

”It was frustrating in a lot of ways and I was happy the team won,” Bauer said. ”I made some good pitches and gave up some weak hits. I had too many two-strike pitches put into play. I need to clean that up.”

Cody Allen worked the ninth to earn his 18th save in 19 chances. It was his 140th career save, breaking a tie with Bob Wickman for the club record.

Lindor walked to start the game, stole second and scored on Brantley’s double. Brantley went to third on Ramirez’s flyout and scored on Edwin Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly.

The Indians manufactured a run without a hit in the second. Jason Kipnis and Tyler Naquin opened the inning with walks. Perez advanced both with a sacrifice bunt, and Greg Allen delivered a sacrifice fly.

Kansas City used a double steal to create a run in the second. Alex Gordon Brandon Williams Jersey , who was hit by a pitch, and Hunter Dozier, who reached on an infield single, were at the corners with two outs. They pulled off a successful double steal, with Gordon scoring. It was Dozier’s first career steal.

The last Royals player to steal home was Alex Rios on July 20, 2015, against Pittsburgh, also as part of a double steal.

Alcides Escobar singled in the Kansas City fifth and advanced to third on Drew Butera’s one-out single. Escobar scored on Merrifield’s sacrifice fly.

Royals starter Trevor Oaks (0-2), recalled from Triple-A Omaha to take Ian Kennedy’s spot in the rotation, was removed after four innings and 73 pitches. He allowed three runs on two hits and four walks.

”The leadoff walks and not having good command, just really frustrating when I’ve walked like one or two guys an outing and now I’m back to four,” Oaks said.

Oaks had a 0.62 ERA in his last seven Triple-A starts. Kennedy went on the disabled list with a strained left oblique.

THE HOT CORNER

Dozier made his first big league start at third base. Dozier played 401 games at third, starting 281, in the Royals’ minor league system. He had started 35 games at first base, two in right field and two as the DH this season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: OF Brandon Guyer (bruised left knee) did not play after fouling a pitch off his leg in the ninth inning Tuesday. X-rays were negative. … LHP Andrew Miller (right knee inflammation) is scheduled to throw a bullpen Thursday. … LHP Tyler Olson (shoulder strain) threw 17 pitches for Triple-A Columbus on a rehab assignment. He retired two batters, walked one Kenny Golladay Jersey , struck out one and did not allow a hit.

Royals: 3B Mike Moustakas (back spasms) was held out of the lineup for the second straight game. ”It’s not serious at all,” manager Ned Yost said. ”He came in today and still felt it a little bit. With an off day tomorrow, there’s no sense in pushing it.” … OF Bubba Starling (oblique strain) was sent to the rookie-level Arizona League to begin a rehab assignment. Starling, a 2011 first-round draft pick, has not played since May 10 with Triple-A Omaha.

UP NEXT

Indians: Open a homestand Friday against the Athletics with RHP Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 4.24 ERA) starting. Oakland will counter with RHP Paul Blackburn (2-2, 6.46).

Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (2-10, 5.56) starts Friday night against the Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium. LHP Chris Sale (8-4, 2.41) gets the ball for Boston.





GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Packers coach Mike McCarthy wouldn’t declare Justin McCray the winner of the training camp competition at right guard, but he got pretty close.

What was supposed to be one of the bigger competitions of training camp never materialized.

While McCray’s would-be challenger, Lucas Patrick, has spent a big chunk of camp at left guard as starter Lane Taylor has dealt with ankle and quad issues, McCray has taken every first-team rep.

“I hope so,” McCarthy said Tuesday when asked if McCray was the starter. “You want to keep the competition open but, yeah D.J. Hayden Jersey , I think he’s done a heck of a job at this point.”

McCray wasn’t taking anything for granted.

“I’m not trying to call it out right now,” McCray said. “I think it’s still a competition. I still need to keep working hard, still need to keep getting better every day, but I realize I’m not getting taken out (of the lineup) a lot. I definitely have realized that.”

At this time last year, McCray was making an unlikely run toward a roster spot. An undrafted free agent out of Central Florida in 2014, McCray spent his rookie season on Tennessee’s practice squad. He failed to make the Titans’ roster in 2015 and spent the year out of football.

In 2017, he worked out at Central Florida’s pro day, where he caught the eye of the Packers, who signed him to a one-year contract. In between, he played for the Arena Football League’s Orlando Predators and worked as a hotel bellman.

McCray spent training camp last year playing guard and center. He played a utility role last year with injuries up and down Green Bay’s line, starting five games at right tackle, two at left guard and one at right guard.

The starting job at right guard came open after the Packers didn’t retain Jahri Evans in free agency.

“You’ve got to love the guy,” offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. “He’s very detailed. He’s a tough guy. He just finds a way to be productive. It may not be textbook all the time. It may not always be a clinic tape and the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen but, often times, he’s blocking his guy.”

McCray said winning the starting job won’t change his mentality.

“I think I came in with the same mindset as last year,” he said. “I’m trying to make a team Patrick Omameh Color Rush Jersey , trying to earn a spot, and just working hard to get better. I know if I keep getting better every day, those are my best chances of doing that.”

Notes: McCarthy confirmed that QB Aaron Rodgers will start on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. How much he’ll play will depend in part on the availability of left tackle David Bakhtiari, who has returned from an ankle injury that held him out for more than a week. “At the forefront of your decision is being smart with Aaron, but the combination of who he plays with, too, is part of that,” McCarthy said. … McCarthy said he also hopes to play QBs Brett Hundley, DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle. … Starting outside linebacker Nick Perry remains on the physically unable to perform list following offseason ankle surgery, but has been working extensively with a trainer during practices. “I feel great,” he said. “No setbacks is the main thing. Right now, we’re being smart about it.”
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